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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Dec 5, 2008 9:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The 'Shit Shower' explained (since SDH asked.....)


Any ideas or wishes for the next submarining lesson topic?

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Dec 5, 2008 9:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The 'Shit Shower' explained (since SDH asked.....)

Found this little article:

Submarine Sanitation

With all of those people in such tight quarters, how do you maintain submarine sanitation? In a simple answer: it is hard to keep the submarine properly sanitized. Frequently people develop atomic toe rot while underway. For your own safety you should wear shower shoes. Many people do not actively set personal hygiene as any sort of priority. Half way through an underway, you will frequently find yourself instinctively reminded to take a deep breath in the bathroom (gross) before you walk into aft berthing. If they could take the scent of that but crack and foot funk and invert it, it would be the most amazing cologne on earth.

It is not just an issue of their own safety, but dirty people spread germs, especially while you hot rack with them. One time I had to hot rack with the stinkiest kid on the boat. I am by no means a clean freak, but some of these kids were so bad that the submarines doctor had to personally observe them shower. Imagine the embarrassment, these kids were treated as such; even worse, they had to shower.

Ok so lets say you never sleep and never have to go wake anybody up. Lets ignore the fact that some shipmates crapped in the urinal and shower. Surely then submarine sanitation must not be much of an issue. That is not true. In fact, it could not be any more false. The systems that are designed to get rid of the human waste and other submarine waste have to be aligned to do this properly. One kid alone managed to align the bathroom to receive instead of give around a half dozen times that I can remember. He was never punished though, because submarine sanitation is not an important issue.

Sometimes things go one step further, and come out of areas other than the bathroom. There is waste made from the meals, and the same place that we wash dishes in is where they prepare meals. If things are done improperly, bathroom can meet the meal. I have seen this before, and the thought alone is gross. Of course, the person at fault was not punished because little is expected of him and submarine sanitation was not a priority aboard the USS Dallas (SSN 700).

Somewhat pertinent. I like "bathroom can meet meal"

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Dec 5, 2008 10:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: "Bathroom Meets Meal"

Can't speak for conditions on DALLAS, my boat was clean. I'm inclined to think that the author took the nastiest events from his career and rolled them all up. Every crew has a sailor (or two) with an aversion to personal hygeine. In my first two boats we had "The Goob" and "Booger". Both guys were nasty - and in their case, peer pressure did not work. Both went to Captain's Mast (disciplinary judicial proceedings) and ended up under orders to shower every other day. They had to check with their Division Chief and the Doc before and after.

As far as hot racking with a slob - during command, I made sure every sailor had their own rack. I only had limited say as a junior officer, but hot racking was generally the exception rather than the rule. Typically the only time we had to hot rack was if we had riders on board for inspections or examinations.

As far as food prep and dishwashing meeting the bathroom - sort of.

The galley sinks and dishwasher are drained to grey water tanks (non sewage) along with the showers and sinks in the heads. I can't recall someone ever taking a dump in the shower (since you would have to stomp it through the drain grate with your foot) but I'm sure it happened.

It is possible to incorrectly line up the grey drain system so that there is back flow into the sinks, showers and galleys. It's not as bad as blowing a shitter on yourself, but whatever food is out is ruined - the meal is shot - and the cleanup is pretty extensive. This happened once during my command tour. I disqualified the offending sailor from watchstanding and had his chain of command come up with a training and requalification program. He was a good kid, he just made a mistake - but I made sure sailors on my boat understood that they would be held accountable for their actions - mistakes or otherwise. I was fair and consistent and my guys always knew what to expect. For the most part, I considered having to take disciplinary action with a sailor a failure on my part as well as his divisional and departmental chain of command - unless it was just gross, deliberate and culpable negligence or endangered his shipmates. Then I hammered the shit out of the kid. Fortunately I only had to do that four times in 24 years.